New to You (10): April Reviews Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is April from Good Books and Good Wine. I have been suggesting books to April for the past few months (All in Pieces and I’ll Meet You There)  so I was really excited when she signed up. Truth be told I had some trouble deciding which one of my favorites I wanted her to read but I decided it had to be Twenty Boy Summer since it will forever and ever be a top favorite of mine! Let’s see what she had to say about Sarah Ockler’s book that was actually banned in some place(s)!

New to You (10): April Reviews Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah OcklerTwenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Published: May 1, 2010
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.""Okay.""Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?""Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

Thank you so much, Andi, for hosting me on New To You. This is SUCH a cool feature, and honestly, I am glad you’re encouraging bloggers to read some awesome backlist books. I know that you’ve never lead me wrong when it comes to book recommendations!

The book Andi challenged me to read is none other than Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer. Friends, I have had this book on my Kindle since AUGUST freakin 2011. What even! I cannot believe I slept on this book so long and it took being nudged into by this feature to read this book. I’ll tell you why I bought it — it was one of the BIG books back in the heyday of book blogging. Every other blogger received a copy from this publicity group so it was ALL over. However, like every other reader, my eyes were bigger than my reading time? (Does that even work as a saying?)

H’okay. So. Twenty Boy Summer. This book took me three days to get through. Honestly, that’s not bad considering my life these days. Ockler’s book is a contemporary YA about a girl and her best friend and how they go away for the summer. LOL. No, it is a bit more deep than that. Okay, so, the girl is Anna Reilly. She’s basically neighbors with Frankie Perino who is also her best friend. Anna and Frankie are both grieving Frankie’s brother Matt who died really before the events of this book take place.

Anna, however, is hiding something from Frankie. DRAMA. Basically, Anna dated Matt on the low. Matt wanted to break the news to Frankie himself and make sure she could handle it. So, without this knowledge, Frankie decides this is the summer that she and Anna will hook up with twenty boys. It is the summer where Anna will lose her virginity aka her albatross.

So, Anna and Frankie, and the adult Perinos fly from New York to California to Zanzibar Bay. Bad life choices are made. There’s more drama. And well, okay during the flashbacks I found myself wondering where in Upstate NY they are from, because they mention being an hour from Cornell and Matt has a Syracuse Orange shirt. So a little piece of me likes to think they’re from Syracuse.

Anyways, I mostly enjoyed this book. I found myself getting very reactive though. You see, Frankie’s character just kept irritating me. AND THEN. She does something no good very bad. And well, it was hard for me to be loyal. I was Team Anna throughout the book. And well, Frankie is not a great friend to Anna. That’s all. I think there’s a lot of realism in this book.

Give Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler a read if you want a book that showcases first love, friendship, drama, and ultimately, forgiveness.

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Thanks April for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy you trust my recommendations! Next I suggestion you read Second Chance Summer if you want to cry. 🙂

My review of Twenty Boy Summer.

Have you read anything by Sarah Ockler yet? I’m a massive fan of her books and of her (I got to meet her last year and it was the best!).

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First Reads

There is nothing like reading a book for the first time and falling in love. You really can’t explain it but that first read through is magical. You get to know settings and people and feelings and emotions. But after you read that book for the first time you never get to experience that feeling like you did. I mean a reread is great (I’ve read Anna and the French Kiss 11 times) but that first read is…♥.

I was thinking about this concept when trying to figure out a blog post and it got an idea brewing. If I could go back in time and read a book for the first time again what books would I love to read?

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What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton: This is probably one of the more quiet YA books that is on my TBR. I’m not sure how many people have read it but it isn’t talked about a lot. It was so fantastic though. I loved the story and the characters so much. How could I not want to read this for the first time all over again.

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Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler: TBS is one of my favorite YA books I have ever read. I read it for the first time when I was just starting to read YA back in 2011 and I fell in love with it. I have since reread it but there is nothing like the first read of this amazing story.

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Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: This book broke my heart and was the first book I actually cried while reading. Like ugly cried. And you know what? I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was so fantastically done and made me fall in love with all of Morgan’s books.

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The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: Out in about a month I was lucky enough to get to read this final book in the Winner’s Trilogy and I would read it for the first time all over again if given the chance. It was one of those series enders that just works.

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Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: My introduction to Emery Lord was perfect. Matt Finch and Dee and Reagan gave life to one summer. It was such a great friendship and love book that I would give anything to read it for the first time again.

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Parallel by Lauren Miller: Another quiet YA on my favorites list. Parallel opened up my love of parallel life books. It was done so perfectly and I just loved everything about it. It was a YA-like Sliding Doors. I would love to have all those 1st read feelings again.

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Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta: A book I almost didn’t read. I read the first one after a reading deal with a friend and I wasn’t in love with the book nor the character of Froi. But something compelled me to continue and see how it played out. Froi is by far the best literary character I have read and I would love to read this for the first time all over again.

And of course:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Like this wouldn’t have been on the list.

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What  book would you love to read for the first time all over again?

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Challenge Updates: October Check-In

Along with my Goodreads Challenge (you can find my progress on the side bar) I also challenged myself to 2 other challenges for 2015. Every month I will check in with my challenge updates.

Back in December I signed up for The Re-Read Challenge hosted by Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With. Honestly I didn’t expect this to be a problem and so far it hasn’t. I’m on track to reach my goal of 12-14 books without a hitch. My October rereads:

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Title:
Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Date Read: October 16, 2015 – October 24, 2015
Type: Purchased

I read Twenty Boy Summer for the 3rd time and got even more emotional than I had in the past. I can’t put into words how much I actually love this book. It is Sarah’s first and it is amazing! If you have never read this or anything by this amazing author, FIX IT!

 

So I only did one reread but it was the best and better than I have in the past. This month I am aiming to finally reread Lauren Miller’s fabulous book Parallel. We shall see.

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I also committed the the Flights of Fantasy challenge run by Alexa Love Books and Hello, Chelly. As you may have heard, I am new to the fantasy genre (thank you Sarah J. Maas and Throne of Glass for this!) and I thought it would be good for me to challenge myself with this one. I have decided to do 12 so I only have to read 1 a month. My October fantasy reads:

Title: Dark Triumph
Author:  Robin LaFevers
Date Read: September 28, 2015 – October 4, 2015
Type: Gifted

I started this one in September but finished in October so this will have to count for 2 months. I didn’t love it. I found it slow but I didn’t hate it either. I look forward to book 3…at some point

 

 

 

 

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Title: The Demon King
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Date Read: October 11, 2015 – October 19, 2015
Type: Gifted

I struggled with this one. IT is a huge book and I felt like nothing happened at all until like 20 pages left and then nothing happened again. I was bummed that I didn’t love it as everyone seems to, but I will read book 2 at some point.

 

I’m kicking but in my fantasy challenge. I have already surpassed my goal but I’m not done yet. I still have 2 months of fun reading left. But I am proud of myself with this one.

October Wrap-Up: Post Edition

Make sure you sign-up for Pocket Letters before sign-ups close tomorrow night!

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16 Blogging Days of Winter – Day 6

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I could sit hear and post a million quote from books that I have loved or felt a connection to. There have been so many great things that I have read it books. But I had to go with my gut and stick with two. Well two and an extra one because it more than explains how I feel about some books, the book it came from as a main example. Everytime I am asked for a favorite book quote I give the Twenty Boy Summer quote because it hits on so many things. It hits on the book, it hits on life, it hits on everything. But recently I have become very fond of the other quote from Allegiant. It is very poignant to me and says a lot without saying much.

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Twenty Boy Summer(review)/Allegiant(review)

What is your favorite book quote? Link-up below and share!

*click the links to purchase the book
**16 Blogging Days of Winter List HERE
***Check Out Amanda’s blog HERE

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Second Chance Sunday – Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

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Title: Twenty Boy Summer [Amazon]
Author: Sarah Ockler [website]
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary
Source/Type: Purchased/Paperback
Stars: 5 of 5

 

Publisher Description:
“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie—she’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

My Thoughts:
GAH I flipping love this book! No seriously, I’m insanely in love with this book. It is such a great take on first love and loss and moving on. I honestly can’t stand how good it is and I can’t say enough how much I love it. From Anna to Frankie to Sam and to Matt(who we knew SO little of), I can’t find one single thing to complain about because I got every character, understood where they were coming from and why they were acting the way they were. Their story is real and you feel that coming off the pages.

Twenty Boy Summer is about Anna. She is best friends with Frankie and Matt who are brother in sister. Anna has been in love with Matt for as long as she could remember and all she wanted was for him to notice her. When he finally does Anna is on cloud nine. Being with Matt is everything she thought it would be, they just don’t know how to tell Frankie. Deciding it would be best coming from Matt they keep their romance a secret and then the unthinkable happens, Matt dies and Anna is left alone with not only the burden of their secret love and the grief of his family, but with the daunting task of what-ifs and the possibility of moving on. Spending the summer in California with Frankie Anna has to figure out if letting go of Matt is the same as forgetting him and just what their time together, although short, meant to her.

When I read this book the first time there was one sentence that jumped out at me and I think sums up the whole book. “I’m fine. Thanks for not asking.” That right there is what completely broke me because Anna wasn’t fine. She wasn’t fine at all and no one asked because no one thought they had to.  Anna lost something no one knew she had. She had to deal with grieving on her own, had to push aside her pain, her hopes, her loss of love, and that is what I related to. Not because I have ever been in Anna’s place, but because I can’t even imagine what that would be like. One day you are on top of the world and the next everything has been shattered and the person you were is no more. It killed me. Completely killed me! And that is why I think I loved Anna. Not once did she complain. Not once did she let her feelings come first. She was there for Frankie every single time and when Frankie couldn’t do the same I wanted to throw something. Anna did everything she could to hold herself together. Anna let go to one of the most important moments in her life and not being able to have her best friend there to support her hurt me. And that is a testament to Ockler and her talent for writing. She gets it and therefore her readers get it.

I have read Twenty Boy Summer twice now and it has affected me the exact same both times. Sarah Ockler has written a book that will completely tear your heart out of your chest, stomp on it, and then mend it slowly with every tiny piece being handled with care. You will go on the same journey of loss as Anna and in the long run you will grow and be a better person from it. And that’s all I have to say about that.

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